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Old 02-12-2017, 04:57 PM
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Default New build, lots of questions...

Started a build on my 24x18x18 exo terra, while this isn't my first build, it will be my first "highly involved" build. I have not decided on a species for the tank yet, still working on basic layout. All I do know is that I plan on having a drip wall, possibly a water feature and I'd like it heavily planted, moss, lichens, broms, etc.

The rear of the tank will be drilled out for a bulkhead (I will not do this until I'm sure of my build direction). This will allow all me to drain the excess water, attach a pump, etc. I already have 1/4" tubing and was hoping to get between 6-8 drip locations. I want everything involving water except the tubing to be external.

So here's my list of questions

1. False bottom or traditional drainage layer?

2. Best manifold, pump, drip valve combo?

3. Fans, internal or external mount?

4. If false bottom, will adding a water feature such as a pond, potentially be hazardous to any darts? I've always worried about that.

5. Is there a need to add extra ventilation screen to the top or will the one below the doors be enough for air exchange?

6. Benefits of heating the drip wall water and should this be do inline or in tank? Then, what heater?

7. Stand offs for the egg crate background, benefits/disadvantages?

8. Is there anything I'm overlooking that could cause me a potential problem down the road?



I want this to be a display tank, I don't mind the maintenance, but would like like to have to open the tank as little as possible. I would like to be able to have isopods, springtails, etc thrive as well to help with the overall upkeep. The background will be GS, Cork, silicone, ecoearth, etc build on eggcrate light diffuser. I chose ABG mix for the soil.

Any information on this would be helpful and much appreciated.
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: New build, lots of questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LifelessForm View Post
1. False bottom or traditional drainage layer?
Drainage layer is easier but false bottom is not bad one just uses material the other parts if that makes sense. In this case the effort to build the false bottom is saved by the minimal amount of drainage layer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LifelessForm View Post
3. Fans, internal or external mount?
I'm a fan of external fans in the case of exo that already has lower front venting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LifelessForm View Post
4. If false bottom, will adding a water feature such as a pond, potentially be hazardous to any darts? I've always worried about that.
Frogs can swim so long as it's an easy transition in and out of the water. Personally I don't think water feature such as a pond work out all that well in small vivaria.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LifelessForm View Post
5. Is there a need to add extra ventilation screen to the top or will the one below the doors be enough for air exchange?
You actually need to reduce the ventilation up top. How much is really up to how much you mist and what the climate is like int eh room around the enclosure. Hot dry upstairs room or cool damp basement...both have an effect ont he vivaria through the circulated air.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LifelessForm View Post
6. Benefits of heating the drip wall water and should this be do inline or in tank? Then, what heater?
Room temperature is sufficient, I've used a fish tank heater to heat my water reservoir before just to maintain a constant temp if the room fluctuates. However having a dedicated room now I find that isn't necessary.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: New build, lots of questions...

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Originally Posted by Bighurt View Post
You actually need to reduce the ventilation up top. How much is really up to how much you mist and what the climate is like int eh room around the enclosure. Hot dry upstairs room or cool damp basement...both have an effect ont he vivaria through the circulated air.
I had actually planned on removing the screen top and replacing with with a section of glass. Was unsure whether I needed to keep a screened section or make the entire top solid being there are the vents up front and the doors don't completely seal.

I could just cut holes in the glass and use the external fans as exhaust to pull the air from the tank, would that work or is it better to force air in and let the tanks vents be the exhaust?
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: New build, lots of questions...

Yes a top vent of sorts should be maintained. It was once believed that in order to maintain a certain level of humidity the entire cage needed no ventilation...that was false. And the appearance of condensation or lack there of on the glass is not a measure of the humidity rather the temperature differential that is exists between the interior and exterior air.

I actually prefer exhaust fans to intake fans because the air inside the enclosure moves at a lower rate (aside from the air in the vicinity of the fan). Where as the air on an intake fan will continue to move through the enclosure at a higher rate. Some inhabitants don't do well in drafty environments particularly if the incoming air is drastically cooler.

In fact if your lights put off heat in anyway, the heated air at the enclosure ceiling will naturally move out of the vent thus creating a draft to draw in air at the bottom. Vivaria aren't fish tanks we don't need to change out the air as frequent as we change water. We just need change. Remember hot air rises so we can use physics to our advantage.
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